Our Activity was based primarily on
"The Happiness Project" book
by Gretchen Ruben.
by Gretchen Ruben.
She states four splendid truths for Happiness:
- First: To be happier, you have to think about feeling good, feeling bad, and feeling right, in an atmosphere of growth.
- Second: One of the best ways to make yourself happy, is to make other people happy; One of the best ways to make other people happy is to be happy yourself.
- Third: The days are long, but the years are short. (Life goes by quickly, enjoy the moments.)
- Fourth: You're not happy unless you think you're happy. (Act the way you want to feel.)
We decided to focus the night on three things; "One Sentence Journals", "Lists", and "A Yearly Focus Word". The first two come from the book. We also gave out a handout that outlined the steps given in the book for starting your own happiness project.
Sue started out telling us about
"One Sentence Journals"
She said, "Everyone can write one sentence. There is nothing overwhelming about that". If we write just one sentence a day it can help us to see what things make us happy. It helps us amplify the effect of a happy experience by giving the opportunity of expressing and recalling your feelings. It will solidifiy the experience and those feelings. Each time you go back and read them the feelings and the happiness they gave grows even stronger and deeper.
Everyone received a cute as all get out,
"HAPPINESS PROJECT JOURNAL"
Each one unique, hand made by the RS activity committee!
Andrea then told us about the
importance of keeping "Lists".
*Your Happiness Journal is a good place to keep these!
You can keep all kinds of lists to help you with your happiness.
The first lists to make are the areas you want to work on to boost your happiness.
A second list might be things that make you unhappy that you would want to avoid as much as possible.
She told us how the author made a list of her own personal 12 commandments to help in her project for happiness.
1. Be Gretchen (be yourself)
2. Let it go
3. Act the way I want to feel
4. Do it now
5. Be polite and be fair
6. Enjoy the process
7. Spend out
8. Identify the problem
9. Lighten up
10. Do what ought to be done
11. No calculation
12. There is only Love.
She also listed more than forty more list ideas on the handout.
A few of them are:
Women who inspire me
Things to try
Books to read
Things I want people to remember about me
Things I don't want people to remember about me
What I love
Another list from the book was what the author called her "Secrets of Adulthood". They were lessons learned growing up that help with happiness.
A few of them were:
- People don't notice your mistakes as much as you think.
- It's okay to ask for help
- By doing a little bit each day, you can get a lot accomplished.
- Do good, feel good
- You don't have to be good at everything
- An "evening tidy-up" makes the next day better
- People actually prefer that you buy wedding gifts off their registry
- Don't let the perfect become the enemy of the good
Sydney then told us about the idea of picking a
"One Word Focus" for the year.
In the book Gretchen picks 12 areas she wants to work on, one for each month. They were; Vitality, Marriage, Work, Parenthood, Leisure, Friendship, Money, Eternity, Books, Mindfulness, Attitude, and Happiness. She then lists three to five specific ways she is going to try to boost happiness in those areas.
We wanted to add the idea of picking one word to use as your main focus for the year to help you choose the areas that you want to work on. Then you are to display that word prominently in your house as a daily reminder.
We gave out a list of almost 300 word ideas some of which were: accept, achieve, appreciate, balance, believe, calm,
change, cherish, delight, hope, eliminate, enjoy, order, relish,
restore, service, simplify, thankful.
We each had a poster paper, we put our chosen word on it then had a blast looking through magazines for pictures that represented that word and the areas it brought to mind that we
wanted to work on.
Hum....pondering the possibilities!
There was lots of cutting and glueing
amidst all the great chatting and laughing!
Look how fun they turn out!
"CHERISH" is Terry S's focus word.
Don't you just love some of the cherish topics she picked!!
"Embrace your age", "Peanut butter and chocolate chip cookie dough".... YES!!
To top the evening off we had Chocolate Melting Cake
with Nelson's frozen custard on top!
YUM .... Happy Happy....Yum!
*If anyone wasn't able to attend and wants a copy of the handout with more detailed instructions on how to do your own happiness project, leave a comment at the bottom of this post, or ask Sue G. or a member of the RS Presidency.
*Be watching......We will be highlighting some of our sister's posters, where they chose to display them in their home and why they chose their word.
We encourage all of you who weren't able to attend to choose a focus word, make some lists, starting with a list of areas to work on for your happiness, set some simple concrete goals and start your own happiness project. Be sure to keep a one line journal along the way!!
* This could very well bleed into more than one line and become a great way to keep your personal history journal!